Breaking news--Latest lockdown restrictive rules starting today and 17 Shofar Facts Every Jew Should Know By Menachem Posner, as Yom Kippur starts Sunday night and Rich White Leftists Encourage Black People to Loot Their Neighborhoods By Daniel Greenfield and The Rat in Israeli Public Life By Caroline B. Glick and Whom Should Jews Fear MOST During an ‘Uprising’? By Jonathan S. Tobin and Violent Crime More Important to Voters Than Black Lives MatterBy Daniel Greenfield and Yom Kippur’s ‘Kol Nidrei’ Prayer: The Power of Words
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
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The following are the new restrictions set forth by the Coronavirus Cabinet, effective Friday at 2 pm and in force for at least the next two weeks, until the end of the holiday of Simchat Torah.
All places of employment to close except those deemed "essential."
Finance Ministry, PMO, and National Security Council officials to determine which government agencies to close, which to remain operational, and at which capacities.
All open-air markets are closed.
Restaurants may offer home delivery service only.
Synagogues closed, except for prayers on Yom Kippur, in accordance with the pre-approved protocol for Rosh Hashanah – that is, groups of 10 permitted to pray inside the synagogue, remainder of worshipers outdoors.
Travel restricted to one kilometer from home. Exceptions must be approved by police, who will be deployed on highways and at entrances to cities and towns to enforce the restriction.
Prayers and protests are allowed only in open spaces and only up to a maximum of 20 people each of whom must be two meters apart from the next, within one kilometer of one's home.
Sports are canceled except for official international games.
Supermarkets / food stores / pharmacies / essential items & services continue to be available as usual.
Public bus service will be dramatically curtailed
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Sun, Sep 27, 2020 – Mon, Sep 28, 2020 Significance: Atonement for personal and national sins, fate of each person is sealed for the upcoming year Observances: Fasting, prayer, abstaining from physical pleasures, refraining from work
17 Shofar Facts Every Jew Should Know By Menachem Posner
1) A Shofar Is the Horn of an Animal
Many animals have horns, made of keratin, which can be hollowed out by removing the bone and tissue found inside. When the tips of the horns are either removed or drilled through, a sound can be produced. With the exception of the horn of a bovine (which is known as keren), or antlers (which are not true horns) the horns of all kosher animals are considered kosher.
2. It Is the Central Mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah
The Torah refers to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of the [shofar] blast."1 Since Biblical times, the central focus of Rosh Hashanah has been listening to the sounding of the shofar blasts.
3. It May Be the Longest Continuously Played Instrument
From the Biblical era until today, shofar has been blown regularly, very possibly making it the oldest instrument still in use.
Still today, warriors use noise as an important weapon. Booming drums and blasting horns can sound alarms, send commands, frighten the enemy, and encourage weary soldiers. Going back to Biblical times, shofars were used in many battles.
5. A Ram's Horn Is Ideal
Although the horns of goats, kudus, and even the ibex are all acceptable, the horn of the ram is ideal. Why? For one thing, its curled shape is evocative of our mood, bent over in contrite regret of our misdeeds. Secondly, it recalls the events of the Binding of Isaac, when Abraham was ready to sacrifice his beloved son until an angel told him to stop, and a ram suddenly appeared, his curled horns tangled in the thicket.
6. Shofars Are Often Manipulated With Heat
A typical ram's shofar is not shaped exactly as it was while it grew on the ram's head. Part of the shofar-making process involves heating the shofar to the point that it becomes pliable, at which point, the tip is straightened out to make for easier gripping and blowing.
In addition, the shofar is often sanded down and polished with decorative notches carved onto its spine.
7. Two Blessings Are Said Before Sounding It
Blowing shofar on Rosh Hashanah is a mitzvah, a Divine commandment. And before we commence with the blowing, two blessings are said:
"Blessed are You … Who commanded us to hear the sound of the shofar."
"Blessed are You … Who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion."
8. The Shofar Is Played on the Right
We read that Satan stands at the right side to accuse a person before G‑d.2 Among other things, the piercing blasts of the shofar serve to "confuse" Satan. It is thus ideal that the shofar blower position the shofar to the right side of his mouth.
9. A Shofar-Blower Is a Baal Toke'ah
The long uninterrupted blast of the shofar is known as a tekiah (more on that to follow). Toke'ah means "blowing." In common parlance, the person who blows the shofar for the congregation is known as a baal toke'ah ("master of blowing"). Historically, this is an unpaid volunteer position given to a worthy member of the congregation.
10. There Are Three Types of "Voices"
The baal toke'ah uses the shofar to produce three types of sound:
Tekiah: a single long blast
Shevarim: three medium blasts
Teruah: (at least) nine staccato blasts
These three sounds are combined into three patterns. Each sequence contains either a shevarim, a teruah, or both, sandwiched between two tekiahs. Each tekiah must be as long as whichever sounds it surrounds.
Each sequence is blown three times, making for a total of 30 sounds (10 x 3 = 30).
11. Shofar Is Blown After the Torah Reading and Again During the Amidah
The shofar blowing is held shortly after the Torah reading. At that point, a sequence of 30 blasts is blown. Then three mini-series of 10 blasts are blown during the cantor's repetition of the Musaf Amidah. The first set of blasts is known as tekiyot dimeyushav ("sitting blasts"), since one may technically sit down when listening to those. Since the second battery is blown while the congregation stands in prayer, they are known as tekiyot dime'umad ("standing blasts").
12. Some Prefer to Blow 100 (or 130) Blasts
Many communities blow the shofar both during the silent Amidah as well as during the cantor's repetition, followed by a final sequence of 10 blasts, bringing the total to 100 blasts.
30 following the Torah reading
30 during the silent Amidah
30 repetition of the Amidah
10 additional blasts
(And some have the custom to add yet another 30 blasts after services have concluded, making for a grand total of 130 blasts.)
13. Shofar Can Be Blown All Day Long
Although the ideal time to hear shofar is in the (late) morning as part of the synagogue service, it can be sounded any time between dawn and sundown on Rosh Hashanah. Many communities have alternate shofar blowings for people with small children and others who cannot attend services. Shut in? Ask your local Chabad rabbi to arrange a house call.
14. No Shofar on Shabbat
Shofar is blown on both days of Rosh Hashanah. Nearly 30 percent of the time, the first day of Rosh Hashanah coincides with Shabbat, and shofar is not blown on that day (but it is still sounded on the following day, Sunday).
It's a mitzvah to blow shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Many follow the custom to blow the shofar every day of Elul, the preceding month, except for Shabbat and the day before Rosh Hashanah.
16. We Blow It Again After Yom Kippur
The week after Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the solemn fast of Yom Kippur, when we neither eat nor drink, living like angels for the duration of the sacred day. There is an ancient custom to sound a blast of the shofar after night has fallen and the day has ended. Wondering why?
17. Much Significance Is Attached to the Shofar Blowing
The Torah does not tell us why to blow the shofar. Many, however, from Talmudists to the Medieval sages to the Chassidic masters, have dug deep into our tradition and sacred texts to uncover layers of reason and significance embedded within the plaintive wail of the shofar.
Real crises end with a solution. Fake crises end when they become a real crisis.
Black Lives Matter began as a fake crisis that used out-of-context viral video clips to falsely claim that police shootings of innocent black people were a national crisis. Black Lives Matter became a real crisis when its riots looted, burned, and beat their way across major cities.
A Pew poll at the end of July asked voters which issues were most important to them when deciding who to vote for the big office in 2020.
59% of voters said that violent crime was very important and another 27% said that it was somewhat important. Racial and ethnic equality had fallen behind with 52% of voters calling it very important and another 28% describing it as somewhat important.
86% of voters see violent crime as a significant presidential election issue while 80% are touting Black Lives Matter. The structural difference here is bigger than that 6%. While Black Lives Matter has benefited from a non-stop media push, violent crime has been lightly covered.
How concern about violent crime became the fifth most important issue for voters, slightly behind the coronavirus, would be baffling to anyone who gets their reality from the media.
That 86% of voters aren't worried about crime based on what they see in the media, but because they feel personally threatened by what's going on in their own neck of the woods.
There is a huge difference between supporting BLM in the abstract or fearing crime personally.
The Pew map of voter concerns shows that the election issues are tilting away from big picture abstractions and are being dominated by concrete issues that affect voters personally. With the exception of Supreme Court appointments, the top 5 issues, the economy, health care, the pandemic, and violent crime, are about the things that personally worry Americans.
Meanwhile the abstractions have fallen off the pyramid, with racial and ethnic equality coming in seventh place, economic inequality, a Democrat favorite, falling to ninth, and climate change and abortion coming in in the tenth and eleventh spots. All of this is bad news for the Dems.
As the DNC convention approached, the creaky messaging machine had tilted against the riots.
The New York Times and the Washington Post officially ended the embargo by running negative stories about white BLM activists in Seattle, Portland, and Washington D.C. And the media and Democrat officials began openly voicing concerns that the violence would hurt their chances.
"The rioting has to stop," CNN's Don Lemon intoned, while writing a proposed speech for Biden to deliver on the air. "As you know and I know, it's showing up in polls, it's showing up in focus groups, it is the only thing right now that's sticking. And the Democrats are stuck with it."
They are indeed stuck with it.
Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, which has seen some of the worst of the violent rioting, appeared to suggest that nothing was working, and that it "will ultimately burn itself out."
The people whose businesses are being burnt out may be less sanguine about the crisis.
But the Democrats have no answers to offer. Even those national figures who didn't explicitly embrace police defunding, a suicidal and unpopular political strategy, can't push too hard against it because a sizable section of their activist base and media have been radicalized.
Democrat efforts to split the difference, limiting police defunding measures and playing numbers games, only led to more direct harassment with BLM contingents showing up at their homes at night, yelling, screaming, and intimidating elected officials. The pressure may not result in the actual elimination of the police that the hate group's activists demand, but they ensure that the Democrats will continue trying to square the circle, split the difference, and avoid a decision.
More crucially, the Democrat donor base is also deeply divided. Rejecting BLM too sharply would alienate George Soros, whose funding is not only crucial to Democrat election efforts, but whose infrastructure makes up a vital part of the American Left, but embracing it would alienate moderate Democrat donors who want Biden to stop the chaos, not give it a great bear hug.
Unlike Republicans, the Democrats are deeply conflicted on this issue. And the conflicts are undermining Democrat messaging and electability. The shift from BLM to violent crime is particularly significant when it affects the black voters on whose turnout Democrats depend.
Not only isn't BLM effectively mobilizing black voters (though it seems to be doing a great job of radicalizing white college students and some of their blue region suburban parents) but black voters are increasingly putting violent crime ahead of BLM as an urgent issue. That reflects a national trend, but it's particularly devastating to the Democrat strategy in this election.
Black urban voters are bearing the brunt of the violent crime and they're not hearing the Dems talking about the issue dominating their neighborhoods and threatening their lives.
The Democrats are caught in a trap of their own making.
They're no longer able to turn off the violence. And mildly critical media coverage won't do it. Even if they could get some of the billionaires who have been pouring money into radical groups to turn off the spigot, there's enough money to keep them going until November. The Democrats barely managed to stop Bernie Sanders from becoming the nominee. They can't stop national riots by their usual backroom tactics. And they're too ideologically hagridden to use the police.
Black urban mayors have shown the most willingness to confront the rioters and have the most political immunity for cracking down on criminals, but as long as Portland, Seattle, New York City, and other major cities are controlled by feckless white progressives, the violence will go on.
And the riots and crime are not only shifting attention away from BLM, but from the pandemic.
People can only focus on one crisis at a time, and the violence and chaos consuming entire cities is becoming more visible than an invisible virus. If this trend continues, then the Democrats will lose both of the big issues that they expected to propel them to victory.
The Democrats sowed the winds of political terror, they've begun to reap the whirlwind.
Yom Kippur's 'Kol Nidrei' Prayer: The Power of Words
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement for our sins, is also called the "Sabbath of Sabbaths." It is the holiest and most solemn day of the year.
It is the Day of Atonement for all our sins. Although many people don't realize it, it is actually a very happy day. This is because it is the day that God Almighty, the Creator of the world, "pats us on the back" so to speak, and says, "I forgive you." Words cannot convey the power and holiness of the day.
Yom Kippur opens with the very mysterious, mystical, and haunting prayer known as "Kol Nidrei." So prominent are these five lines of prayer, written in Aramaic (not Hebrew!), that "Kol Nidrei" has become synonymous with Yom Kippur eve.
The Kol Nidrei service opens with the removal of all the Torahs from the Holy Ark which are then paraded around the synagogue. Following this solemn procession, all but two Torah scrolls are returned to the Ark, while the two remaining Torahs are held on each side of the cantor. It is considered to be a great honor to be given the task of holding a Torah scroll during the Kol Nidrei service.
The cantor then recites the Kol Nidrei passage three times which reads as follows (slightly edited and abbreviated for better clarity):
"All personal vows that we are likely to make, and all personal oaths and pledges that we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we hereby publicly renounce. They are all renounced and abandoned, null and void, neither recognized nor established. Let all our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered as nothing."
After other liturgical passages are recited, the Torah scrolls are put away and the formal evening prayer then begins.
There are many questions that can be asked about the Kol Nidrei prayer. Why does it open the holy day of Yom Kippur? It has nothing to do with sin, repentance or atonement! And what's this about all future vows being nullified? Are we no longer required to keep our word? What's going on here?
To answer the second question first- of course a person is required to keep his word! The Kol Nidrei formula does NOT release a person from the promises he makes to other people. As it is written in the Artscroll Edition of the Yom Kippur prayer book:
"There is a dangerous and erroneous misconception among some people that the Kol Nidrei nullification of vows—whether past or future— gives people the right to break their word or to make insincere promises that will have no legal force. This is not the case. The Kol Nidrei declaration can invalidate only vows that one undertakes on his own volition. It has no effect on vows or oaths imposed by someone else."
So we see that Kol Nidrei works only to annul vows between man and God. For example, did you once perhaps vow in your heart to give money to a certain charity, but did not yet do so? Or perhaps you even forgot which charities you pledged money to? It is these types of vows for which Kol Nidrei is effective. Vows made to God for the fulfillment of good deeds, and the like. When it comes to our fellow man, however, a word is a word, and no prayer or magic formula can nullify one's commitments or obligations.
As to why Kol Nidrei, which has no mention of sin or forgiveness, and which isn't even a prayer at all, opens the holy day of Yom Kippur – many answers have been offered.
For one, we learn from here (and other Talmudic sources) that so serious is the sin of not fulfilling one's vows (even those that are between man and God) that it has the power to prevent our prayers from being heard, and by extension, to possibly prevent us from achieving forgiveness on Yom Kippur. As such, we formally nullify all such vows so that we are cleansed from this terrible sin even before beginning the formal Yom Kippur service.
Another answer, based on kabbala, is that by annulling our vows we are symbolically asking God to reciprocate. For example, in the event that God has "vowed" that we might not have a good year, we recite Kol Nidrei in order to "hint" to Him that just like we annul our vows, so too He should annul all of His, as well.
There is much more that can be written about Kol Nidrei, and the remaining components of the Yom Kippur service. The message, however, is essentially the same: The King is standing before us with open arms. He wants to be part of our lives this year. We just have to let him in.
It was a summer of discontent as the coronavirus pandemic raged on. The death of George Floyd, which set off a season of protests about police brutality and racial discrimination, further added to the nation's woes as many of the demonstrations turned into riots along with acts of intimidation, violence and looting. If that wasn't enough, now we also have to worry about armed vigilantes who have, in a few cases, sought to intervene in settings of urban unrest with predictably dismal results as the fatal shootings illustrated last week in Kenosha, Wis.
The specter of armed extremists facing off against violent mobs is a prescription for not just bloodshed, but chaos with unknowable consequences. Predictably, the Anti-Defamation League is chiming in about this to hype fears that the presence of militias in this combustible mix will add anti-Semitism to the mix. The question is, are they telling us something we need to know about the situation or, as appears to be the case, is the ADL just riding their favorite hobby horse in order to promote their preferred political agenda and distract us from the real threat to both Jews and the nation in this situation.
As it happens, and as one ADL researcher acknowledged, the groups of vigilantes that have arisen in cities where rioting took place don't seem to have expressed any anti-Semitism when they showed up ostensibly to defend property threatened with destruction by the "mostly peaceful" demonstrators.
Yet the mere mention of militias—whether the vigilantes are connected to known groups or not—has been enough to push the usual buttons for Jews. This has predictably led some people to believe that the real problems at play here are not the riots, or what it is the Black Lives Matter movement's leaders and apologists are after, but the familiar fear factor associated with white nationalists and anti-Semitism.
Let's specify that the presence of vigilantes is almost always a bad thing. Such persons are no substitute for law enforcement and invariably make bad situations worse.
Yet after three months of riots that some on the left have been candid enough to describe as a general "insurrection," there is only one word to accurately describe efforts to put the focus on vigilantes, rather than on those who have openly embraced radical positions aimed at thwarting democratic rule as an anti-Semitic threat: gaslighting.
We should never be complacent about anti-Semitism from the far right. But to pretend that the carnage in America's cities is the work of anyone but the far left, associated anarchists and some elements of the Black Lives Matter movement is not merely false but a transparently politically motivated sleight of hand maneuver.
While Jews have not been a priority target for rioters—instances of vandalism in Los Angeles and Kenosha notwithstanding—the connections between the intersectional ideology that is officially embraced by BLM ideologues, and anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, is a matter of record.
Since the death of Floyd on May 25, dozens have died in violence that was in one way or another connected to the protests, the number of police officers that were injured was reported to be 700 in the first week and has, no doubt, climbed far higher in the months since then. Many of the protesters have also been hurt, though hurt as a result of their engaging in violence against police. Incidents of organized attacks aimed at police, including in one outrageous incident in which left-wing lawyers passed out Molotov cocktails to be tossed at New York cops, have added to the carnage.
To pretend that these acts were somehow committed in equal measure by the inconsequential numbers of right-wing provocateurs, or that it was all inspired by the Trump administration that has sought unsuccessfully to stop the violence against the wishes of their political opponents who govern strife-torn cities, is also gaslighting.
It is hardly surprising that left-wing and liberal groups that have, against the best interests of the Jewish community, endorsed the BLM movement would buy into this myth in order to help their allies in the Democratic Party. But doing so is still an act of breathtaking mendacity.
For three months, much of the mainstream media has either downplayed the violence associated with the protests or encouraged and rationalized it.
Prime-time CNN host Chris Cuomo has consistently asserted, "Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful."
New York Times staffer Nikole Hannah-Jones, a conspiracy theorist and principal author of her paper's misleading and wildly inaccurate "1619 Project" that alleged that America is an irredeemably racist nation, took pride in the burning and looting. She said "it would be an honor" for the violence to be called the "1619 riots."
An NPR show offered a forum to Marxist author Vicky Osterweil, whose book, In Defense of Looting defended the violence as a justified tactic and mass theft as "a redistribution of property in an unequal society."
But as the fall election campaign looms on the horizon, some on the left have awakened to the fact that the "unrest" and talk of defunding or even abolishing the police they have encouraged might help Trump's re-election efforts. As a result, they are now seeking to shift the blame to him or to a vague threat of white nationalist anti-Semites rather than to the people who have been doing the rioting and those who encouraged them.
The main point to be derived from this shabby con game is not a defense of Trump's discourse, his policies, or any specific political agenda of the right or left. Instead, it must be pointed out that the main threat to Jews and to Americans in general from recent events is not an epidemic of racist violence for which there is little or no proof or from the president. The real danger comes from the breakdown of the rule of law that those who lionized the riots and gave the movement that fueled them impunity have engendered.
A country in which both lives and property rights are not respected—and where law enforcement is so cowed by its critics that no one at risk from rioters has any reasonable expectation of police protection—is not one that is safe for Jews or anyone else.
Rich White Leftists Encourage Black People to Loot Their Neighborhoods
A hardcover copy of "In Defense of Looting" will run you 21 bucks at Amazon and 28 bucks at Barnes and Noble. That's just how capitalism works for the distribution and sales of a product from one of the biggest publishing companies in the world that's part of the Lagardère empire.
Why is the largest publishing company in France pushing what Publishers Weekly called, "a provocative, Marxist-informed defense of looting" to Americans? Because it makes money.
Learn why private property is just a social construct for only 21 bucks.
"In Defense of Looting" quickly ended up a major topic of conversation on social media.
And that means Arnaud Lagardère, the head of the French empire that swallowed Little, Brown and Company, adds to his $220 million net worth and keeps the model he married, half his age, in the style she expects at his country estate. So what if a whole bunch of small businesses, many owned by immigrants and black people, get trashed and put out of business.
"In Defense of Looting" was published by Bold Type Books, a Lagardère subsidiary imprint in partnership with what used to be Nation Books. The Nation, a hard lefty magazine, is partly owned by Katrina vanden Heuvel, the daughter of an MCA heiress who was worth over $38 million when she jumped out of her apartment window.
And then there's Vicky Osterweil, the author of "In Defense of Looting", who graduated magna cum laude from Cornell, where he tried to make his own movie, before moving to Brooklyn to live out the hipster dream of playing in a punk rock band while aspiring to become a novelist.
Two years later he was being profiled in the New York Times attending an Upper East Side party. Such are the hobbies of the worthless dilettante brats of the New Left.
The son of a professor and a producer from a wealthy suburb of Boston, Willie, his original name joined the Park Slope Food Coop, and scribbled terrible movie reviews, "capitalism is built on the bones of the witch, her magic the first threat against capitalist rationalization", followed by equally terrible leftist screeds for The Paris Review, Jacobin and The Nation. In 2011, he was in Barcelona, taking part in protests there as training for his work on Occupy Wall Street.
Fast forward to the present, Willie had married Sophie Lewis, a British lesbian feminist who has two degrees from Oxford, had translated "Communism for Kids", and had her own book "Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family", which attacked the existence of the family. Willie, her new "wusband", now appeared to be Vicky Osterweil.
The happy young white couple both had major books with radical Marxist premises.
Sophia was calling for the elimination of the family and Vicky was defending looting. And the upscale couple was doing it in the name of destroying capitalism.
"Want to Dismantle Capitalism? Abolish the Family," The Nation headlined a review of her book.
All of this made marriage a little awkward, but there was nothing that couldn't be overcome.
A splashy Vice profile mentions that at their wedding, instead of vows, the happy couple gave speeches disavowing the institution of marriage and the biological family.
And then they headed to Boston where Willie's mother wanted a more traditional wedding.
You can disavow the institution of marriage, but you're still going to get married. And you can write a book attacking the existence of the biological family, but when your 'wusband's mommy wants a traditional wedding she can invite her friends to, you drop the nonsense and go.
It's unknown what Sophia's parents, journalists who had given birth to her in Vienna and raised her in Switzerland and France, places that speak to her oppressed background, thought.
Sophia might be gay and Vicky might be transgender but they were a conventional enough couple living the hipster dream in a gentrified area of West Philly, and touting a gift certificate to an antique shop that they had received as a wedding present. The sort of thing you do when you're trying to smash capitalism, and abolish the family along with private property.
Right after you get married and pick up something nice at the antique shop.
The Black Lives Matter riots and the looting trashed parts of West Philly, but it doesn't seem to have done much to disturb their idyllic world of community gardens, social justice yoga studios and punk hair salons. And even if it did, unlike their proprietors, Vicky and Sophia can move on.
The ugly truth about Marxist capitalism-smashing hipsters is that they are the least exposed to the consequences of their theories. When a third of Philly pharmacies were robbed in a coordinated campaign by gangs coming in from outside the city, it had a major impact on black senior citizens getting their prescriptions, but not on an upscale white hipster power couple.
Spending your twenties and thirties deconstructing everything is the luxury of the upper class. It's the hobby of people who don't really have jobs or a family depending on them for support. That's why the deconstruction is fundamentally unserious. After writing a book calling for the abolition of the family, Vicky and Sophia got married. Vicky's living in West Philly where the riots and the looting are going on, shopping for antiques, and writing a book in defense of looting.
As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness."
A generation of upscale leftists is smashing up everything while knowing that they can retreat to the pricey suburbs that spawned them, to their country estates and condos, while the chaos and destruction happen to someone else. Tom might be calling himself Thomasina and Daisy might be calling herself a lesbian, but they're still playing games and amusing themselves at other people's expense in the vast carelessness of theoretical reasons for destroying it all.
Willie/Vicky originally wrote an article titled "In Defense of Looting" in 2014 during the Ferguson riots filled with 1619 Project style nonsense like "American police forces evolved out of fugitive slave patrols", while insisting that, "the idea of private property is just that: an idea."
Of course every idea is an idea. Including the sacrosanct nature of human life and liberty.
Dismissing fundamental concepts on which your existence depends as mere ideas is a privilege. Violence, disorder, and chaos can take away that privilege and show their value.
Leftists deconstruct everything until they realize how badly they need those ideas. But it takes far longer for them to be affected by the destruction than the poorer and more vulnerable people whose lives have been turned upside down for a sensational new talking point at one of Katrina vanden Heuvel's fashionable parties.
While countless small businesses have been destroyed, Amazon's business model is booming.
The massive corporation, where many lefties will be shopping for copies of "In Defense of Looting" doubled its quarterly profits. Amazon controls 38% of the e-commerce market and when Black Lives Matter looters burn their way through neighborhoods, more retail moves away and goes online. Small business owners decide that it's better to be a third party seller for a massive corporation than to try and keep going during the lockdowns and race riots.
Amazon can make money from "In Defense of Looting" and from the actual looting.
The small businesses that Vicky Osterweil ridicules provide their owners with some measure of independence. The looters turn them into subjects of the same sort of massive corporate monopoly that Osterweil claims to hate, yet ultimately champions and makes his money from.
Osterweil preaches in defense of looting in the name of the black community. But the death of small businesses hits black communities hardest. Shopping online is a lot easier if you have a credit card or a checking account. Portions of the black community have neither. Wiping out street retail in urban areas not only guts neighborhoods, it turns retail into wealth privilege.
Upscale areas will still have street level retail once the Black Lives Matter riots die down. But the poorer black areas hardest hit by them won't. The white leftists promoting looting will still have their quaint cafes, punk hair salons and social justice yoga studios that Vicky and Sophie rave about, they'll also have local supermarkets like Whole Foods, owned by Amazon, groceries, restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, and the rest of the hipster detritus of gentrification.
That's because they have the money and spend the money to make street retail profitable.
When the rioting is done, there will be burned out neighborhoods ripe for real estate speculators to move in, renovate, and peddle to the wealthy white hipsters who want to live there.
Promote enough looting and you too can cash in when the market is right.
There is more than one kind of looting. There are the organized gangs smashing up Philly pharmacies and heading away in vans and trucks. There's the Soros DA who lets crime happen. And there are the professional white activists who keep shouting Black Lives Matter while promoting the destruction of black neighborhoods to sell their books on Amazon.
While Vice lavishly promotes looting and Marxist deconstructionism as radical chic, its parent company is partly owned by Disney, a private equity firm, and Soros Fund Management.
The street looting is paralleled by an even more massive looting at the top with hipster Marxist deconstructionists as ideological foot soldiers in the trashing of America. Some of the biggest social justice corporations in the country are funding the attacks on capitalism and the country.
Meanwhile in August, Soros Fund Management raised its stake in Amazon by 102%.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur is "the tenth day of [the] seventh month"(Tishrei) and is regarded as the "Sabbath of Sabbaths". Rosh Hashanah (referred to in the Torah as Yom Teruah) is the first day of that month according to the Hebrew calendar. On this day forgiveness of sins is also asked of God.
According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend their behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of Yom Kippur, one hopes that they have been forgiven by God.
The Yom Kippur prayer service includes several unique aspects. One is the actual number of prayer services. Unlike a regular day, which has three prayer services (Ma'ariv, the evening prayer; Shacharit, the morning prayer; and Mincha, the afternoon prayer), or a Shabbat or Yom Tov, which have four prayer services (Ma'ariv; Shacharit; Mussaf, the additional prayer; and Mincha), Yom Kippur has five prayer services (Ma'ariv; Shacharit; Musaf; Mincha; and Ne'ilah, the closing prayer). The prayer services also include private and public confessions of sins (Vidui) and a unique prayer dedicated to the special Yom Kippur avodah (service) of the Kohen Gadol (high priest) in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
As one of the most culturally significant Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur is observed by many secular Jews who may not observe other holidays. Many secular Jews attend synagogue on Yom Kippur—for many secular Jews the High Holy Days are the only times of the year during which they attend synagogue causing synagogue attendance to soar.
Leviticus 16:29 mandates establishment of this holy day on the 10th day of the 7th month as the day of atonement for sins. It calls it the Sabbath of Sabbaths and a day upon which one must afflict one's soul.
A parallel has been drawn between these activities and the human condition according to the Biblical account of the expulsion from the garden of Eden. Refraining from these symbolically represents a return to a pristine state, which is the theme of the day. By refraining from these activities, the body is uncomfortable but can still survive. The soul is considered to be the life force in a body. Therefore, by making one's body uncomfortable, one's soul is uncomfortable. By feeling pain one can feel how others feel when they are in pain. This is the purpose of the prohibitions.
Total abstention from food and drink as well as keeping the other traditions begins at sundown and ends after nightfall the following day. One should add a few minutes to the beginning and end of the day, called tosefet Yom Kippur, lit. "addition to Yom Kippur". Although the fast is required of all healthy men over 13 or women over 12, it is waived in the case of certain medical conditions.
Virtually all Jewish holidays involve meals, but since Yom Kippur involves fasting, Jewish law requires one to eat a large and festive meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur, after the Mincha (afternoon) prayer. This meal is meant to make up for the inability to eat a large meal on the day of Yom Kippur instead, due to the prohibition from eating or drinking.
Wearing white clothing (or a kittel for Ashkenazi Jews), is traditional to symbolize one's purity on this day. Many Orthodox men immerse themselves in a mikveh on the day before Yom Kippur.
Before sunset on Yom Kippur eve, worshipers gather in the synagogue. The Ark is opened and two people take from it two Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls). Then they take their places, one on each side of the Hazzan, and the three recite (in Hebrew):
In the tribunal of Heaven and the tribunal of earth, we hold it lawful to pray with transgressors.
The cantor then chants the Kol Nidre prayer (Aramaic: כל נדרי, English translation: "All vows"). It is recited in Aramaic. Its name "Kol Nidre" is taken from the opening words, and translates "All vows":
All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths.
The leader and the congregation then say together three times "May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault." The Torah scrolls are then placed back into the Ark, and the Yom Kippur evening service begins.
Many married Ashkenazi Orthodox men wear a kittel, a white robe-like garment for evening prayers on Yom Kippur, otherwise used by men on their wedding day. They also wear a tallit (prayer shawl), which is typically worn only during morning services.
Prayer services begin with the Kol Nidre prayer, which is recited before sunset. Kol Nidre is a prayer that dates back to 9th century Palestine. It is recited in a dramatic manner, before the open ark, using a melody that dates back to the 16th century. Then the service continues with the evening prayers (Ma'ariv or Arvit) and an extended Selichot service.
The morning prayer service is preceded by litanies and petitions of forgiveness called selichot; on Yom Kippur, many selichot are woven into the liturgy of the mahzor (prayer book). The morning prayers are followed by an added prayer (Mussaf) as on all other holidays. This is followed by Mincha (the afternoon prayer) which includes a reading (Haftarah) of the entire Book of Jonah, which has as its theme the story of God's willingness to forgive those who repent.
The service concludes with the Ne'ila ("closing") prayer, which begins shortly before sunset, when the "gates of prayer" will be closed. Yom Kippur comes to an end with a recitation of Shema Yisrael and the blowing of the shofar, which marks the conclusion of the fast.
The Rat in Israeli Public Life
By Caroline B. Glick
Over the past several weeks, Israelis have been riveted by a new crime drama called "Meniac" or "rat" whose central character is an investigator in Police Investigations Division of the Justice Ministry, charged with investigating crooked cops. The plot surrounds the main character's shattering discovery of deeply rooted corruption at all levels of the police and state prosecution.
If the show had aired 15 years ago, it probably would have flopped. But over the past several years, public faith in the legal system has plummeted. Last November Globes newspaper published a poll showing that 72% of Israelis believe police and state prosecutors engage in selective law enforcement. In this climate, Meniac's success was all but assured.
Almost every day, events occur that reinforce the public's view that justice in Israel is not blind. Even worse, in Israel's politicized justice system judges, prosecutors and police investigators have unchecked powers the likes of which no legal system in any other democracy ever possessed.
Consider the events of the past week:
Last Thursday, the Supreme Court issued two rulings. In the first, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and her deputy Yehuda Melzer order the destruction within three years of the community of Mitzpeh Kramim in the Benjamin District of Judea. The ruling is stunning because from the outset, Mitzpeh Kramim was established under the close supervision of the Justice Ministry. Residents did nothing without Justice Ministry approval.
All the same, Hayut and Meltzer ruled that the property rights of Mitzpe Kramim's residents should be revoked because, they claimed, in one or two instances over the past eleven years, a government official read a map or a document in an unfair way, in Hayut and Melzer's opinion.
Two weeks before the Mitzpe Kramim ruling, their colleagues, Justices Meni Mazuz and George Kara prohibited the IDF from carrying out a lawful military order to destroy the home of the terrorist who murdered IDF soldier Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal. Destroying the home would involve "great harm to a number of fundamental rights including harm to property rights and to human dignity." Their main claim was that they didn't want to hurt the murderer's family, which didn't kill Ben Yigal.
In other words, the Court ruled that the property rights of hundreds of Israelis who acted in good faith and broke no law are to be rejected because a clerk misread a map, and the property rights of family members of a man who murdered an IDF soldier are to be upheld and protected because they are innocent of his crime.
In its second judgment last Thursday, the Court rejected a petition from Likud asking for the publication of the Central Election Commission's protocols from the recent elections due to wide-scale allegations of vote fraud. Since the Central Elections Commission is chaired by a Supreme Court Justice, the justices might have been expected to err on the side of transparency. But then, why would they do that?
As Likud MK Shlomo Karei said to Mida website after the ruling, the Court wouldn't even order the publication of election protocols in cases where the suspicion of fraud was overwhelming. As an example, Karei cited the case of 7,000 ballots ostensibly cast by Israeli Arab students. Israel prohibits absentee voting and it turns out that the students "cast" their votes while they were in Jordan. But as far as the Supreme Court is concerned, no one is allowed to question their ballots.
Israel's unchecked state prosecutors have also been in the news – as usual. Here too, two stories were notable because both give a glimpse at the depths of state prosecutors' obsession with "getting" Netanyahu and his supporters.
One of the crimes Netanyahu is now standing trial for is bribery. Prosecutors claim that Netanyahu received positive coverage from the Walla news website from its owners Shaul and Iris Alovich and that in exchange he provided regulatory breaks to the Bezeq telecommunications company, which the Aloviches own.
In July, the Aloviches' attorneys claimed that the prosecutors had not provided them with accurate protocols of investigation materials. Specifically, their attorneys maintained that the prosecutors had given them a distorted protocol of a conversation between a police investigator and their son, Or Alovich. During the conversation, the investigator had urged their son to encourage his father to fire his attorney Jaques Chen and hire a lawyer who would push him to act as a state witness against Netanyahu. If the action occurred, and it appears it did, the investigator acted illegally and tainted the investigation. The exchange was strangely absent though, from the protocol of the conversation the prosecution gave Alovich's lawyer.
On July 24, Netanyahu's prosecutor Liat Ben Ari submitted an affidavit to the Jerusalem District Court declaring that the prosecution had provided defense attorneys with all investigative materials. The memorandum in question was immaterial, she argued because the prosecution had provided the Aloviches' attorney with the recordings of the conversation.
On Tuesday, the prosecution changed its response and acknowledged it had not provided the Aloviches with a full protocol of the conversation.
Last Wednesday, Deputy State Prosecutor Nurit Litman issued guidance regarding pursuing prosecutions against demonstrators. She told prosecutors not to indict demonstrators even if during the course of their protests they block roads and defy police orders.
Litman's guidance regarding non-prosecution of demonstrators is controversial because presently, well-organized leftist protests regularly engage in unlawful actions of the sort she ordered prosecutors not to punish in their weekly demonstrations against Netanyahu in central Jerusalem. They block traffic and ignore and attack police.
When Likud called Litman out for her obvious bias, she responded breezily that the timing of her move was totally coincidental. Nothing to do with the protests against Netanyahu.
The public isn't stupid. Israelis know state prosecutors were perfectly happy to order the arrest and prosecution of handicapped Israelis when they waged a protest campaign in 2017 and Israelis from Ethiopia who waged protests in 2019.
Israelis on the right remember well how in the lead up to the expulsion and destruction of Israeli communities in Gaza in 2005, under the leadership of then-attorney general and now Justice Meni Mazuz, the prosecution waged a campaign of political repression against opponents of the policy. Protesters, including minor girls and boys as young as 13, were arrested and held without charge for months or removed from their parents' homes due to their parents' political views.
To undermine the protests, Mazuz ordered police to intercept buses traveling to lawful protests. Far from being fired for his efforts, he was appointed to the Supreme Court and his deputies moved up the ladder in the prosecution.
Mountains of articles and studies have been written over the past 25 years showing in explicit detail how the unchecked powers of the legal system have created a monster that is devouring Israeli democracy, rendering election results irrelevant and creating a two-tiered system of justice where law enforcement decisions are made based on one's political views.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands in the Knesset plenum (Knesset Press Office)
These articles and studies have changed nothing though. Because the only institution in Israel capable of checking the justices, the prosecutors and the police, is the Knesset. And the Knesset has failed to act. Were Israel's lawmakers willing, they would curb the uncurbed justices and lawyers and restore Israeli democracy.
To check the court, the Knesset would pass a law barring the justices from overturning legally promulgated laws and another law to ban court interference in executive action, including military orders and operations. As is the case in the United States and other democracies, court decisions on the lawfulness of executive actions would be rendered after the fact. To be clear, the Court's current power to overturn laws and block government action was never granted to it by law. The justices arrogated these powers to themselves and politicians have failed to call them on their action.
To check the prosecution, the Knesset needs to pass laws reordering and limiting the powers and responsibilities of the Attorney General. Today, the Attorney General is in charge of the state prosecution and also responsible for advising the government on legal issues. Over the years, the Supreme Court has seized the power to appoint the Attorney General by forcing the government to subordinate the appointment to an appointments committee controlled by the court. The attorney general in turn has transformed his advisory opinions into binding ones, massively constraining the government's ability to advance its lawful goals. So too, the attorney general has asserted his control over his counterparts in all government ministries and the Knesset and arrogated to all of them the power to block ministry actions and Knesset parliamentary procedures.
To end this state of affairs, the Knesset must pass a law disbanding the appointments committee and empowering the government and its ministers to appoint their own legal advisors. The position of attorney general should split into two separate positions – that of the government's legal advisor and that of the head of the prosecution. Both should be subordinate to the government.
Politicians ought to be eager to take these actions. After all, it is their powers the lawyers have seized. If they want their positions to have any significance, they need to take them back.
The reason that left-wing lawmakers have refused to act is obvious. The legal fraternity shares their worldview and pursues their policies for them. As for non-leftist politicians, who currently are the majority of members of Knesset, distressingly, key political leaders who fully understand the stakes are focused on their narrow, personal ambitions and nursing in at least two instances, profound loathing of Netanyahu. Politicians like Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, and increasingly, Yamina leader Naftali Bennet are willing to sit back as the legal fraternity absconds with their power as elected officials so long as while doing so, they also rid the political world of Netanyahu.
There is no question that Netanyahu himself shares the blame for the situation. For the better part of the past generation, Netanyahu has been willing to feed the legal tiger believing that it would never come to eat him. But then again, now that his turn has arrived, Israel finally has a prime minister willing to take the necessary action to put a stop to their power grab and so defeat the gravest threat Israel faces as a Jewish and democratic state.
Meniac's producer received a contract for a second season as soon as the last episode of the first aired on Monday night, and for good reason. The show bravely deals with the biggest threat to public life in Israel today. It's about time our elected leaders do the same.
Shabbat Shuvah or Shabbat T'shuvah ("Sabbath [of] Return" שבת שובה or "Sabbath [of] Repentance" שבת תשובה) refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance but is between (i.e. not including) the two consecutive Days of Rosh Hashanah, and the Day of Yom Kippur.
This is Shabbat Shuvah so Shabbat Shalom--See you Sunday, which is evev Yom Kippur.
We need Moshiach NOw!
Love Yehuda Lave
Yehuda Lave, Spirtiual Advisor and Counselor
Jerusalem, Jerusalem Israel
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